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  1. I was honored to spend a morning with Cartier-Bresson in his Paris apartment years ago and wrote about the experience here: His admirers might enjoy the read.

  2. Thank you so much for showing this video. It was a bible to me and completely inspiring.

  3. Makes sublime sense.

  4. Thanks Rob! Any photo major will remember that day in photo history class when the “The decisive moment” was discussed. Nice to remember our roots! ps Ellen – what a moment!

  5. What a fantastic gift. Thank you Rob.

  6. perfect.

  7. Even though I’ve seen all these images before, viewing them in context with the master in his own words made me feel like I was seeing them again for the first time. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Thank you, what a wonderfull video. I did my final paper on HCB in photography school and this brought back wonderful memories.

    Thanks Walt

  9. It’s not just a case of “they don’t make ’em like they used to” is it…

  10. What Can one say. The whole debt of life is on the shoulders of this mans decisive moments eye, the very essence of great photography is rapped up in his shooting.Sublime!

  11. I love the connections to painting and drawing; a no matter film or digital ; and what is ‘a photo journalist’ – ; how to look at the design of life – how to dance with your camera – passion, intellect, curiosity – what makes one frame sing and the other flat; and ahhh the portrait – beautiful –

    God how I laughed with the analogy of cows – and cats : )
    ‘you got to milk the cow a lot to get a little cheese
    the world is falling to pieces every minute; it’s tragic and beautiful….
    like an animal on the prey….
    it’s a physical pleasure ; rrrraaaaghhhh !!!
    be yourself and forget yourself ;
    I feel if everyone who has a camera, ipod, whachamacallic camera, could learn how to better feel engaged with their lives, like falling in love with the moment there would be better photos or people loving more of what they do by engagment through the little window called a camera.
    LOVED this post!!!

    • the camera can be a machine gun, a psychoanalysis couch or a warm kisss…
      and don’t forget yes, YES, YeS, YES!!!

  12. the best quote of this is: “the difference between a good and bad photo is milli meters” OUTSTANDING!

    • I think that’s quite an exaggeration — maybe between a “good” and “great” picture… maybe. Nearly all of his shots would have the same impact whether the subject or camera was a ‘mm’ here or there. The shot of the biker from top of the stairs being just one example.

  13. A beautiful timeless piece for photo history, inspirational with down to earth depth… I saw a wonderful exhibit of him at the High Museum in Atlanta. He truly was prolific and consistent. What I liked best was no PS,BS,cows didn’t fly through space, just straight vision and reaction, a real purist.

  14. *swoon*
    thank you. that was wonderful.

  15. This filmstrip was produced in 1973 by my cousin, Sheila Turner, who was the picture editor for the Scholastic magazines. Sheila and Cornell Capa, who started ICP, did this as a way of promoting both Scholastic and ICP in its early days.

    As a young photograph, it was exciting for me to sit in on some of the editing over drinks, dinners, and conversation at Cornell’s apartment.

    This is one of what I believe are five or six film strips (now videos). The others that I remember are of Ernst Haas and Bruce Davidson. I hope all of them will eventually get posted, as they were very informative. They showed wonderful insights into these great photographers and their work. At the time, these filmstrips were ground-breaking in their approach.

    When I met my wife, Margo Taussig Pinkerton, she related a story of a chance encounter she had in Paris many years ago with a charming photographer who wore a trench coat, a beret, and carried a Leica. She spent several hours with him, neither knowing the name of the other. Margo wrote a blog about it called “My Meting with Henri.” It’s a fun read. Check it out at

    It is fun for us to see this video getting such wonderful responses, as we just arrived in France yesterday and had a great conversation about Henri Cartier Bresson last night at our charming auberge in Provence.

    Arnold Zann

  16. Sorry for the typo. That should have been Cartier-Bresson with a hyphen!

  17. This is the best lesson in photography that I have ever see. A genuine Master Class.

  18. I think the forethought, grace, insight, anticipation and cordiality required to get ones self into the position just to get these pictures is such an underrated skill. One needs to be almost like a very hungry cat…who eats with a camera.

  19. i am really not a fan of mr.Bresson,but such esential words about photography.Master Class.

  20. I titled a photography show in Denver a couple years ago, “Things As They Are”, tipping my hat to Cartier-Bresson. It was also a shout out to a photo history class I’d taken that molded the way I see the world visually. Thanks for the post!

  21. […] know this has already made the rounds on A.P.E. and Jazzpush, but seriously, the words coming out of H.C.B.’s mouth are incredible (and […]

  22. Thank you this is a very interesting presentation!

  23. To follow up on Mr. Zann’s comments, the interviewer and editor on this program was my mother (his cousin), Sheila Turner-Seed. She, Capa (through the International Fund for Concerned Photography) and Scholastic made 10 of these programs, 8 of which were released as part of this 2-part series. The photographers included were Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, Don McCullin, Cornell Capa, Brian Lanker, William Albert Allard, Eliot Porter, Roman Vishniac, W. Eugene Smith and Lisette Model. The Model programs were never published. You can purchase the DVD for this or the Capa programs through ICP’s website store. ICP owns the copyright.

    • Rachel I saw this & thought it was one of the most insightful documentaries on photography that I have seen. So after reading your post I was interested in purchasing & looked for this DVD on the ICP website store but was unable to find it. Is it listed under a different title?
      Hope you or someone else might be able to point me to where I can acquire it :-)

  24. …looks like I put off watching this too long. Missed my chance

    • I was hoping to watch it for a second time… shoot. Just might have to buy it.

  25. The video is now removed! Can someone post an alternative link to the video..TIA!

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